Prosecutors considered charging Trump Organization CFO with perjury: report

Prosecutors considered charging Trump Organization CFO with perjury: report
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Federal prosecutors in the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office reportedly considered pursuing perjury charges against the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, Allen WeisselbergAllen Howard WeisselbergNew York county launches new investigation into Trump Organization Judge aims to hold trial for ex-Trump Org CFO next summer Lawyer says ex-Trump Organization CFO is expecting more indictments MORE, over testimony he gave during its 2018 probe of former Trump attorney Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenAuthor of controversial Trump Russia dossier speaks out: 'I stand by the work we did' Trump Organization faces new scrutiny in New York civil probe Michael Cohen: Trump bluffing about another White House bid MORE

Four people familiar with the prosecutors’ deliberations told CNN that during their investigation into Cohen, prosecutors decided to give limited immunity to Weisselberg for his involvement in the Trump Organization’s reimbursement to Cohen for hush-money payments to women who claimed to have had affairs with Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — The Facebook Oversight Board is not pleased MORE before he became president.

The people said that prosecutors began to question their immunity decision and suspected that Weisselberg lied in his testimony, especially in how he described the company’s reimbursement to Cohen and categorization of the payments in company records as legal expenses. 

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Prosecutors eventually decided not to pursue perjury charges against the CFO, though CNN reported that one person familiar with the matter said Weisselberg was just one of multiple Trump Organization officials who provided testimony that prosecutors doubted. 

A lawyer for Weisselberg, Mary Mulligan, told CNN in response to the report, “Allen cooperated fully in the SDNY’s extensive investigation," referring to the probe from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. 

“The SDNY charged Michael Cohen with campaign finance and tax violations, and then closed its investigation more than two years ago,” Mulligan added. 

The Manhattan U.S. attorney's office declined to comment when contacted by The Hill.

CNN’s reporting comes as the Manhattan district attorney’s office has charged Weisselberg with 15 total fraud and conspiracy charges, including tax fraud and falsifying business records. 

In an indictment unsealed in early July, prosecutors argued that Weisselberg helped organize a scheme to compensate himself and “other Trump Organization executives” with unreported income.

Prosecutors alleged in the indictment that Weisselberg avoided paying taxes on roughly $1.7 million in income between 2005 and 2017.

The CFO has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, and he and the Trump Organization have denied any wrongdoing. 

Weisselberg has not yet signaled if he will choose to cooperate with prosecutors in the office’s criminal probe into Trump’s business, which, along with the office’s other investigations into Trump Organization business dealings, has been repeatedly characterized by the former president as politically motivated. 

In the weeks following the charges against Weisselberg, the Trump business dropped the CFO from some of its subsidiaries, though sources told The Wall Street Journal at the time that he was expected to stay at the company.

—Updated at 4:49 p.m.